Themes Explored in Purple Hibiscus

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1) Five major issues explored in purple hibiscus are; domestic violence, oppression, religion, education and love. 2a) Adichie uses a narrative point of view to explore the theme of domestic violence. The book is narrated in the first person by a 15 year old who is directly affected by domestic violence. Because of her young age she is quiet honest and this allows her to paint a great picture to the audience of the brutal abuse that Eugene bestows upon his family. This is as a result of her sensitive, intelligent and observant nature. 2b) Oppression is explored through narrative point of view. Adichie uses the point of view of Kambili to show the audience how oppressed the country is not only in the Achike household but the whole of Nigeria. Again Kambili’s honesty and good descriptions help to give the readers an idea as of how oppressed the country and Eugene’s household really is. 2c) Adichie uses narrative point of view to explore the theme of religion. She uses this because Kambili the narrator is exposed to different kinds of religion, such as, fanatic Catholics, liberated Catholics and Traditionalists. Again, it is Kambili’s observant nature that helps to give the readers a good idea of what all of the practices are like. Kambili’s narration is also used to show the great impact that religion has on life. 2d) Education is also explored through narration. In the narration Kambili has an encounter with her father and Kambili’s father’s past gives us an idea of how important he thinks education is. 2e) Love is also explored through narration. Although Kambili is a 15 year old through her narration we are able to see that she loves father Amadi. The love however is immature in because they have known each other for a very short time. Although the love narrated is not very mature it is still love. Adichie uses narration to show the audience that Kambili is in love and Adichie uses her narration to give us some hints of this love. 3a) Adichie bring out the theme of domestic violence through characterization. She uses all of her characters to bring out different aspects of domestic violence. All of the characters of Eugene’s household add to the theme of violence. Eugene is the abuser and he abuses his two children and his wife. All of the characters respond to the violence in different ways and this shows the varying effects of violence on persons. Kambili’s reaction is constant fear. Jaja eventually becomes defiant and rebels against everything his father stands for whether good or bad and Beatrice is quiet and submissive, but eventually changes and kills Eugene. 3b) Oppression is also brought out through characterization. Nigeria in the time frame of the book is going through a period where political oppression is present and everyone is affected by it. Eugene thinks that the military government is wrongfully oppressing the people and speaks out about this. Ifeoma like Eugene speaks out about the oppression in the country. Adichie uses these two characters to speak about the evils of political oppression. 3c) Religion is also explored through characterization. Adichie uses two characters to bring out the conflict that religion presents, these characters are Eugene and Papa Knukwu. She uses Eugene to present the Christian perspective and his father to present the Traditionalist. Eugene is ethnocentric and this is what causes the conflict of religion between Eugene and his father, which causes Eugene to not speak with his father. 3d) Adichie brings out the theme of education through her characters. She uses Eugene to do so. Eugene often speaks of wanting the best for his children. Ifeoma is also seen wanting the best for her children. As this was one of the main reasons that Ifeoma went to America, because all of the good lecturers were leaving Nigeria and there would be no good teachers left to educate her children. 3e) Love is also explored through characterization. A character in the book that Adichie uses to bring...
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